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Making The Sale Today Is Off The Table

, , | Right | March 2, 2022

Customer: “I’m looking for a table.”

Me: “Okay, well, we’ve got quite a few ranges.”

Customer: “It was here a few months ago, but I can’t see it now.”

Me: “Oh, right, which one was it?”

Customer: “It was downstairs.”

Me: “Can you describe it a little? Was it painted or varnished? What size was it?”

Customer: “Well, it was quite small… Do you still have it?”

Me: “I’m afraid I’m still not sure which one you mean. Could you describe it a little more?”

Customer: “I think it was made of wood.”

There’s A Difference Between Enthusiastic And Annoying

, , , , | Working | February 3, 2022

I used to be a customer service “manager” at a furniture store. I put that in quotes because the title was a joke and only technically added because one of our sales guys was being an a**, but that’s a story for another time.

Every once in a while, especially on the weekends, my parents would stop by to take me to lunch. They knew that I could be working with customers, so sometimes they’d show up, see I was busy, and wander the store while I finished up. They were never shopping because A) that store was a joke and a half and I’m honestly surprised it was still open at the time, and B) in general, they didn’t need or want new furniture but were always interested in seeing if something might catch their eye. My parents’ attitude is very much, “We’ll ask for help if we need it,” and are very good about actually asking when needed. They’re polite, but they generally hate salespeople trailing them, and they ask to be left alone.

We have this one saleswoman who cherry-picks customers, hovers at the doors, and jumps on people as they come in. One time, my parents stop by and see that I’ve got a customer, so instead of coming directly to the front, they detour and start wandering.

Saleswoman: “Hi! Welcome to [Furniture Store]! Are you looking for anything specific today?”

Mom: “Actually, we’re meeting [My Name]. But I see that she’s busy, so we’ll wait.”

[Saleswoman] apparently slightly huffs but walks away, and my parents start browsing — in the opposite direction of the sales gal. The customer I am dealing with is difficult and it ends up taking me longer to help. In the meantime, my mom finds a couch she thinks is comfortable and sits down because she has a bad ankle and needs to be off it. My dad is nearby, checking a couple of things on his phone. Neither of them has made any indication that they’re actually looking for help. Guess who suddenly pops back up?

Saleswoman: “Oh! This is a lovely couch. We can custom order it if you don’t like this color, though.”

Dad: “We’re not looking to buy. My wife’s just sitting down for a minute while we wait for [My Name].”

[Saleswoman] walks away.

Meanwhile, up front, I’ve finished with the first customer, but we get a call that my manager forces me to take because she doesn’t want to deal with it. My parents see the first customer leave and get up to come to talk to me, but seeing me on the phone, they pause at a dining set. Can anyone guess what happens?

Saleswoman: “Oh, this is one of our best sets! It comes with four chairs, but we can order up to eight more if you get the leaf.”

My dad walks out of the store. My mom gets frustrated with the sales gal.

Mom: “Look, we’ve already told you that we’re not shopping for anything. We showed up to take [My Name] to lunch, but because she was busy, we didn’t want to interrupt, so we just wandered. But we told you that multiple times. Why did you continue to try and ask us if we were looking for anything?”

This sales gal is very… selective in what she chooses to hear or understand. She gets slightly huffy with my mom.

Saleswoman: “Well, why didn’t you tell me that? [My Name] is right up at the front.”

Mom: “We know. But she was dealing with a customer, so we were trying not to interrupt her.”

By that point, I’d finished up the call and grabbed my bag, so I rescued my mom from the sales gal and we went to lunch. Honestly, that sales gal was a pain and a half and did next to nothing in that store, but the owners wouldn’t fire her because “she makes us money”. I, of course, had to hear her complaining about my parents after I got back from lunch. I ignored her.

Impossible Demands Are In Their Nature

, , | Right | January 12, 2022

I work in furniture, and we sell pieces in wood, stone, and marble. Those are natural substances so no two pieces will ever be the same.

I’ve had a customer yelling at me for nearly an hour about a wood table.

Customer: “This table just doesn’t look like the one in your showroom! You should be ashamed of yourselves to sell it if you can’t deliver!”

I try to explain that nature doesn’t work that way.

Customer: “Look. Just order six of them and I’ll pick the best one.”

Me: “There’s no way we can do that.”

They got mad and reported me to my boss, who told them the same thing.

Wish you Could Turn The Tables On This Somehow

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2022

I work as a faculty assistant. In early 2020, one of my professors ordered a set of nesting tables for her office. When the tables arrived, we discovered that they were both the same height. The company asked only for a picture to prove this and said they’d send the correct (shorter) replacement out. About a week later, states began going into lockdown due to the health crisis, and the company reached out to say that the delivery would obviously be delayed.

Fast forward eighteen months. Since neither of us has been in the office all that time, my professor and I have both forgotten the incident entirely until I get an email from the company asking if I’ll be available on a specific day to accept delivery. As it happens, I won’t be — we’re on a hybrid schedule and it’s my remote day — but I make arrangements with a colleague to let them into the office. That evening, I get an email from her.

Colleague: “I left [Professor]’s key on your desk. I think you’ll have to contact [Company]; they brought the wrong table again, identical to the one she already has. The delivery guy and I walked into the room, he unwrapped the furniture, and we both just stared at it, dumbfounded. He went, ‘Umm… let me go make a phone call.’ He came back moments later, rolled his eyes, took the table, and said he would be back in touch, with apologies.”

I haven’t heard from them yet about rearranging the redelivery. Hopefully, it’s not another year and a half.

There Is A Bright Light At The End Of This

, , , , , , | Right | November 12, 2021

A difficult elderly customer is picking up stools and lamps at our furniture store. Even after being told last week that they would arrive unassembled, he is very upset that he will have to assemble the stools himself. My manager manages to calm him down, and she convinces him to take the unassembled stools and his two lamps home.

The cashier offers to carry the lamps to the front door, my coworker bids him a good day, and my manager holds the door for the customer as he carries the lamps to his car.

A few days later, the customer returns, this time with his very angry wife.

Customer: “You people ripped me off! Where are the lamps I paid for?!”

Coworker: “Sorry?”

Customer’s Wife: “We paid for two lamps from your store and never got them! What are you people trying to pull?”

Coworker: “Sir, I saw you pick up the lamps the other day, and our cashier even carried them to the front for you. Are you sure you didn’t misplace them?”

Customer: “Are you calling me a liar?!”

Customer’s Wife: “How dare you insult my husband?!”

My manager approaches and calms the customers down again, allowing them to pick out new lamps for free. As they are leaving, the customer stops to talk to my coworker again.

Customer: “I know you never gave me those lamps. How is it possible for a person to completely forget ten minutes of his life?”

Coworker: “…”

The next day, the elderly customer came back to our store. My coworker immediately grabbed our manager to deal with him. To everyone’s surprise, he was bringing back the extra lamps. The customer confessed that he and his wife had just moved, and their house was filled with boxes. Apparently, he had taken the box of lamps home and gotten them mixed up with moving boxes. To apologize, he brought us a big container of chocolate, and we haven’t seen him since.